Sony and Microsoft Team Up To Deliver Personal Technology “Test Drive” for Consumers

REDMOND, Wash., and SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 19, 1997 — Leading the pack in personal technology, Sony Electronics and Microsoft Corp. today announced two joint initiatives designed to make the wonders of today’s personal computers, peripherals and software real for people across the country. The two premier brands in consumer entertainment and computing, Sony and Microsoft are working on two separate yearlong programs that give consumers hands-on experience with personal computing and the Internet. One is the new Sony Personal Technology Experience nationwide tour, and the other is Microsoft’s popular Family Technology Night program. More activities between the two companies will be announced soon.

“We are proud to be working with Sony,”
said Steve Schiro, vice president of the end user customer unit at Microsoft.
“These two educational and awareness initiatives with Sony will touch hundreds of thousands of people, delivering useful, practical information consumers can use to become more comfortable and more excited about what personal computing can contribute to their everyday lives.”

The Sony Personal Technology Experience, Sponsored by Microsoft

To provide consumers with the opportunity to
“test drive” the latest personal technology products, Sony has hit the road, embarking on a yearlong tour sponsored by Microsoft, with a 53-foot, 80,000-pound, 18-wheel truck that transforms into a 3,500-square-foot exhibit arena. The Sony Personal Technology Experience interactive exhibit combines the advanced hardware of Sony’s full line of VAIO® Tower and Notebook Computers, displays and peripherals with the latest Microsoft® software products, including software titles such as Publisher and Picture It!
™personal imaging software and games based on Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and the Windows® 95 operating system. The truck offers interactive demonstrations and hands-on experiences designed to show the virtually unlimited potential of today’s home PC. A copy of the exhibit’s tour schedule is available at ( .

“The convergence of personal computing and consumer-electronics technology is resulting in the development of some all-encompassing tools that allow people to capture, create, share and learn information interactively,”
said Tim Errington, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Sony Information Technologies of America (ITA), a divisional company of Sony Electronics.
“The Sony Personal Technology Experience is the ideal medium to show consumers how they can use Sony and Microsoft products creatively to enhance their lives.”

To effectively convey the ability of the personal computer to enhance users’ creativity, communication and knowledge, the tour is based on the concept of creating America’s Digital Yearbook
. Participants will have the opportunity to have a digital photograph of themselves taken and downloaded to an onboard mobile network and, by answering a few simple questions, create a yearbook page including their photo, a personal profile, description of interests, hobbies, and more. They’ll be able to show off their America’s Digital Yearbook pages to friends, family and others on Sony’s Web site at ( . Individuals can post online messages to yearbook participants in the Guestbook section of each page of the yearbook.

Microsoft Family Technology Night Workshops

Microsoft Family Technology Night workshops are free in-school events designed to demystify computer technology and help families experience the impact technology can have on learning at school and home. Participants learn how to get the most from their computers and the Internet, including how to use e-mail, and a variety of reference and creativity software, such as the Microsoft Encarta® 97 multimedia encyclopedia, Microsoft Works and Microsoft Money. They will receive hands-on experience with Sony VAIO Tower and Notebook Computers, displays, VAIO All-in-One Printers, and digital still cameras. The evening even includes an Internet
“field trip”
with tips for selecting computer hardware and software.

“By the end of this school year, Family Technology Night workshops will have taken place in 1,500 schools nationwide. Since its inception four years ago, the events have provided more than a half million participants with a hands-on opportunity to learn about the value of technology in education,”
Schiro said.
“Our relationship with Sony strengthens these informative community events by giving people the opportunity to try great computer hardware and software in a friendly, supportive environment.”

Other Initiatives

Sony and Microsoft are working on a number of joint marketing programs, in addition to The Sony Personal Technology Experience and Microsoft Family Technology Night. For example, Sony plans to distribute a Sony-customized version of Internet Explorer 4.0 free of charge to its Sony VAIO customers in a special promotion later this year. Sony is also

developing custom ActiveX
components and Active Channel
content for Internet Explorer

4.0 to provide a highly personalized computing, Internet and customer-support experience to its customers.

About Sony

Based in San Jose, Calif., Sony ITA markets branded computer products, including Sony VAIO Notebook and Tower computers, Trinitron displays, digital still cameras, and other multimedia products through distributors, resellers and consumer retailers. For additional information about Sony VAIO computers and peripheral products, call (800) 4-SONY-PC, or visit Sony’s World Wide Web site at ( . To order Sony VAIO computer and peripheral products directly from Sony VAIO Direct SM , call (888) 315-SONY.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Picture It!, Windows, Encarta, ActiveX and Active Channel are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

VAIO and America’s Digital Yearbook are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Electronics.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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